tv [untitled] December 2, 2012 11:30pm-12:00am PST
but freedom expression and acceptance doesn't mean anything goes under any circumstance, itw doesn't mean that we have no standards whatsoever of behavior. freedom, expression and acceptance don't mean that people can do whatever pops into their heads, no matter what the impacts on others or on the neighborhood. as a result, i introduce legislation to extend a narrower version of our existing nudity plazas, parklets and public transportation. to acknowledge that our public spaces are for everyone, and that, as a result, it's appropriate to have some minimal standards of behavior so that everyone can enjoy these spaces. this legislation and the issue generally has generated significant and intense debate community, and in the city as a whole. i don't pretend that there's unanimity around this legislation. there are strong views,
legitimate strong views on both sides. but i do believe that the legislation has strong support in the community. and i'm not just talking about support from newspapers like the bay area reporter and the chronicle or community leaders like cleve jones or neighborhood groups. i'm talking about everyday citizens who live work and lead their lives in this wonderful neighborhood. some have suggested this legislation resulted from straight people somehow invading the castro or people in noe valley objecting to nudity in the castro or more people raising children or local business owners. that is not the case and very few castro businesses have been vocal about this. i say this as a gay man who was drawn to the castro in the 1990's because of its status as a gay mecca and safe space. i found some of the rhetoric around this issue to be offensive and demonization of
gay people and gay and straight who have children. castro is a neighborhood for everyone, for people with kids, without kids, people running businesses, people who work there, live there, who come into our wonderful neighborhood to enjoy themselves. to be very clear this legislation did not result in any sense from straight people or people with kids or merchants or people from noe valley complaining about public nudity. the dominant demographic expressing concern over the daily seven days a week nudity in the castro has been gay men. i've heard from far more childless gay men in support of this legislation than from noe valley people. i'm not just talking about new newbies but gay many who have lived in this neighborhood for years. one final point, specifically there are some who have said that there are already laws in the books that cover this situation. that is simply not the case.
which i whies berkeley, san joée and other california cities have their own public nudity restriction beyond the if there were already laws in place to address this situation, i would not have introduced this legislation. public nudity, currently, is not -- is legal in san francisco, other than in our parks, port, and in restaurants. there's been a suggestion that we should use lewd behavior laws, particularly the indecent exposure provisions of the california penal code. i don't agree with that. i think that using lewd behavior laws is problematic and ineffective. first of all, there are going to be a lot of borderline cases about whether something is lewd or not lewd and you're putting a police officer in a terrible position of trying to determine is this person a little bit aroused or not aroused, is that adornment on the person's genitals lewd or not lewd, did he shake his genitals a little
too vigorously to draw attention. no police officer should make that determination and to be blunt no police officer will. if addition if left with the choice of only charging someone with indecent exposure for lewd behavior under state law as some in opposition to this legislation are suggesting if you're convicted of indecent exposure you become a registered sex offender when you're done. my legislation that we're considering today will not result in sex offender registry. colleagues, as i stated at the beginning -- as i stated at the beginning, i gave this issue time to work itself out. it didn't. and the time has come to act. this is a narrow and reasonable piece of legislation, and i ask for your support. colleagues, i've also distributed some amendments that are not substantive to you. they include findings at the beginning. the phrase public rights of way, we've moved the location of the
severability provision, and in addition we've provided an operative date of february 1, 2013, or 30 days after the mayor signs, whichever is later, which would be likely february 1, 2013. and so i move those amendments. >> president chiu: supervisor wiener's made a motion to amend. is there a second to the motion? seconded by supervisor farrell. any discussion to the motions colleagues? can we take the motion without objection? without objection that shall be the case. further discussion. supervisor campos. >> supervisor campos: thank you very much, mr. president. and i want to begin by thanking all the members of the public who are not only here, but also who have been corresponding to all of us on the board of supervisors in the last few weeks about this item. let me say that one of the things that i find disturbing about the discussion debate that has transpired has been the fact that there has been vilification
of people on the opposing side. i don't think that some of the characterization of for instance the proponent of this legislation have been fair, and i think that this was one of those issues where reasonable people can disagree. and my hope is that, irrespective of what happens on this vote today, that we can have respectful dialogue about this. the reality is that all of us, as district supervisors, understand that there are important issues to each one of our respective districts, that have a unique flavor and character to them. and the question that we often face is whether or not, in dealing with those issues, we have to approach the matter in a way that actually impacts the
entirety of the city, which is what's happening here. you have one neighborhood that -- where this issue has come up, and now you have legislation that it passed, would it impact the entire city. and let me say that i certainly don't take the concerns that have been identified by supervisor wiener lightly. i understand that there are many people who reside in the castro, who reside in district 8, that have, you know, a very serious concerns about what's happening. and the question is not the issue of how serious this is, but simply what the best approach to addressing the situation is. and that's what it has come down to for me. and let me say that the main concern that i have, with respect to this legislation, is an issue of priorities. as a city, in terms of we, as a
body, on the board of supervisors, thinking about the legislative actions that are needed and the things that we need to prioritize as a legislative body, for me, i question whether or not this rises to the level that it should be a priority. not that it's not an important issue, but let's just take the example that this legislation passes and there is a nudity ban in the city and county of san francisco. and let's just say that once the ban is in place, you have a number of individuals who defy the ban, andjru÷et( ÷ actuallyo be nude in public. at some point, law enforcement will be called in to enforce the law that was just passed, and at jp$éó point, resources will be expended by our law enforcement agencies to enforce thatwjp law. i represent district 9. district 9 includes the neighborhood of the mission, which actually shares a police
station with district 8, with the castro. mission station, mission police station, serves both the castro and the mission. and i]b@%ñ can tell you that evy time that an incident happens in district 9, and unfortunately recently we have been talking about violent incidents and i call the captain and ask for more foot patrols and i ask for increasing the timeliness of the response, i ask for different strategies to deal with violent crime, the response repeatedly is i don't have the resources, i don't have the resources to do all the things that need to be done, i don't -- i think the captain is doing as much as anyone can possibly do, given the limited resources we have. but we do live in a time of limited resources. and when it comes to what is the best and most effective way of using those limited resources,
not that enforcing nudity laws is not important, but on the scale of how important it is relative to violent crime, i think that the focus should be violent crime. and i do fear that, if this law is passed, that the limited resources that, in this case the mission station has, are better spent focusing on preventing violent crime in other parts of the district. happening in the castro, not to minimize the seriousness of what's going on, but we do have government. we have to make choices in terms of what our priorities are. and until we get to a point that we have the level of staffing of our police department, where in fact we have the bodies to do everything that>q= needs to be e around community policing, i don't believe we're at the point where we can say that this becomes a priority over the violent crime that is happening in some parts of this city. that is a very real concern that i have.
and, you know, supervisor wiener said that we don't-á( want to pt our police officers in a terrible position. i do think that putting police officers in a situation where they have to choose where resources are deployed is a terrible position. and i would rather not make that the priority for this city. do have limited resources, and i think that in terms of priorities going forward, i think that violent crime, when it comes to the deployment of law enforcement should be the priority,.
here, together. you know, we have a history of these kinds of issues being mediated. there are agencies like the human rights commission that have played a role in other kinds of disputes. and i'm wondering whether or not there has been an effort to actually bring the different parties to the table. the folks that have legitimate concerns about what's happening in the castro, you mentioned the parents, you mentioned the single people who have issues with this as well, making sure that their voices are represented, and that we have a discussion with them, and some of the people that are advocating against this ban. what kind of efforts have we actually taken to make sure that we in fact have done everything we can, short of taking the steps of actually having a citywide ban. again, i think that there may be instances when something like this is appropriate. but i don't know if we have reached that point yet. so i'd like to know more about what's happening -- what's happened with respect to efforts to mediate this dispute.
and if it is the case that in fact all efforts to mediate have been exhausted, and that we have in fact explored the different options that are out there, then maybe we can have a conversation. fact has taken place. the last thing that i would say -- and i know that much debate will be had here, and my colleagues have other things to add, is i do worry, whenever as a lawyer, whenever you have ac4 ban of specific conduct and then you proceed to have exceptions to that ban. in this case, we have a nudity ban, but we have some exceptions as to when nudity might be acceptable. and i do have%("az a concern abt how it is that we came up with those exceptions. if there is going to be a ban on nudity, how is it that we decided that nudity in some instances is okay, how is it that we decide that nudity in an event, parade, might be
appropriate, but not on a day at a specific neighborhood. issues around free expression, you want to make sure that you're careful about how you craft those exceptions. so i'd like to hear more about that. but the i look forward toql%( discussion, and more than anything else, i think that this is one of those issues where hope that it is an opportunity for us, as a city, to have respectful dialogue on what is an issue where clearly there are different opinions. >> president chiu: supervisor olague. >> supervisor olague: in many ways i think that this is a solution looking for a problem. because with the exception of a small area in the castro, i'm not certain that this has reached such epidemic proportion that it nes estates a citywide7e
ban on nudity. the whole idea of this being a form of expression, not unlike -- that is sort of being limited, and in some ways is -- i don't know, is an imposition on a person's freedom of expression or civil liberties, i think that that's another conversation that i'm interested in having at some point. but it clearly isn't going to happen today. so -- but i do believe that when we start to surrender some of these basic rights, citywide, that, you know, what's next. you know, a lot of people think that that's cliché butkk%( 1añ k tattooing or yellow hair, or what. so i just -- i think it's unfortunate. too, i agree with most of the -- i think everything that supervisor campos said, and that
is especially it's unfortunate that some agency, whether it's the human rights commission, or some civic leaders, couldn't just bring people together to discuss how to mitigate this issue, and the way it's castro. it's a very different scene from when i moved to the castro in 1982. so this whole again idea of expression and civil liberties and these sorts of issues i think can't be understated at all. and then finally, i think that supervisor campos again mentioned -- i mean just unfortunate that issues like nudity takes such a big level -- it takes a great deal of attention when you have all these issues around gang violence, that are happening, bullying, achievement gaps in high schools, cost of housing, unemployment, you have all these other issues that are so critical to how the quality of
life and, you know, people's ability to stay in san francisco or not. and, you know, so much focus is given to this issue of nudity. so i mean i guess here we are. the media loves issues like nudity. while, you know, people are, you know, dying in the streets. i don't know. again, when it comes to priorities, it just seems a little bit on the absurd side to me. raised for people who, you know, feel uncomfortable with this, you know, in their neighborhood. but i just haven't seen it really outside of this area, as being an issue, necessarily. and certainly mental health is frequently ignored and last time i saw somebody take their clothes off it was due to that and they strip down and sit in front of a muni bus and lay in
front of it. that's a public health issue that's sort of outside this conversation but i'm just saying that, you know, outside of the street fairs and this isolated area, i'm not convinced that this is something that is necessarily being abused in a way that wouldrjjíñ meritñnúñ g more public resources into this area. that's all. so i can't support it. i just don't support it. >> president chiu: supervisor avalos. >> supervisor avalos: thank you, president chiu. i can appreciate supervisor wiener's wanting to bring this forward as an issue. i think that he's received a lot of commentary about it over the years. and it seems like it's one issue that yu yud want to act on. i felt if this is an,( tfç issuu
act on that it can backfire in lots of different ways. i am concerned about civil rights, i'm concerned about free speech, i'm concerned about just changing san francisco's style and how we are as a city. and it's something that's very troubling to me to see that. we're a city that actually had -- the publication of city life that naked lunch came out there was a ban about that. the city looks at free speech and expression, we're a beacon of light to other places around the country and sometimes there's weirdness about how we express ourselves but i think that is what is great about san francisco. i have something teed up that i was saving for before, for chris daly when he used the f word in the board chambers but i think this is more appropriate.
catch-22. and think it expresses some of the absurdity of this that we have in the backdrop of world war ii where people are killing each other, the inconsequential nudity that is before the general is sh something that is quite meaningless over all. >> why aren't you wearing clothes, captain? >> don't wanna. >> what do you mean you don't want to. why don't you want to? >> i don't know. i just don't wanna. >> why isn't he wearing clothes? >> he's talking to you. >> why isn't he wearing clothes, major? why isn't he wearing clothes, sergeant. >> the man was killed in his plane and bled all over him. his closes haven't come back from the -- where is his underwear. >> in the laundry, sir. >> that sounds like a lot of
crap to me. >> it is a lot of crap, sir. >> sir, you have my word for it this man will be punished severely. >> what the hell do i care. if he wants to receive a medal without any clothes on, what the hell business is it of yours. >> my sentiments exactly, sir. >> here's your medal, captain. you're a very weird person. >> president chiu: if i could remind members of the public that in the board chamber we do not express either support or us to move the proceedings along. supervisor avalos. >> supervisor avalos: so i cannot and will not bite this i just can't do it. i vote no. >> president chiu: supervisor mar. >> supervisor mar: thank you. i do understand supervisor wiener's efforts toágu address e
concerns from residents and businesses in his district. i look at this issue as a parent. i do have some concerns of nudity around schools and around young children. but i really do appreciate the comments made by many in the audience of san francisco's uniqueness and our diverse culture but especially our respect for personal freedoms. i also have concerns similar to supervisor campos' that this may be an issue that's about one neighborhood, and mostly about one plaza, and i really don't think we need citywide legislation, especially overbroad legislation to deal with an isolated what i would call an isolated community incident. and i think this legislation also, as supervisor olague said, is not good use of our time and i will be voting no on it as well. >> president chiu: is there further discussion? supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: thank
you. thank you arbitration colleagues, for your comments. i just want to make a few points. first of all -- and some of the points i've heard today are some that some of the opposite have raised as well. to suggest this is not important enough or worthy of our time i did a little research and we could go back and i could probably find some resolutions and ordinances from pretty much every member of this body, that would -- that may fall into that category, that are not the most but that actually matter in a lot of people's lives. and so if the new rule is that this board can only take up matters that are somehow monumental, while i really would be interested in that discussion, our agendas would be
much lighter, and but that would be a new way of doing business at the board of supervisors. and it would be different than probably the way we've operated where, as a board of supervisors, we're not the united states be senate. we are a local government entity, and we deal with the day-to-day challenges of a city, and of neighborhoods. and some of those are monumental and some of thosegqjatç are very mundane. and as a district supervisor, you can only imagine if i, or any of us were saying i'm having trouble getting this pothole filled in front of my house, can you please help me. and if you responded and said well let's see, if i have to fix muni and get all the help for all the mentally ill people in our city and close the achievement gap and help all the small businesses that are struggling in this city, do all of those things, and then when i'm done, i'll get to your
pothole to be filled. i have a feeling your constituent probably wouldn't respond very positively to that. the fact is that we deal with a whole gamut of issues at this board,>(( úñ large to small, and the large are not to the exclusion of the small. the fact is that this is a real issue. and i think, colleagues, you'll know that you can love or hate the legislation i proposed, but i work on a lot of different issues, large and small,k$%($$ao all of you. i want to respond to supervisor campos' suggestions this is somehow going to undermine the enforcement against gangs. i don't agree with that at all. the fact is that our police deal with a lot of crimes that are not violent crimes, whether it's auto thefts or trespassing or all sorts of different -- or shoplifting, all sorts of different crimes that are not violent. if we're going to say the police cannot or should not enforce those laws because we have
violence going on, i don't think that most people would agree with that. of course violence always needs to be top priority and i can tell supervisor campos how many times, in the castro, or in noe valley, we hear from mission station, listen, we have to deal with the violence in the mission, and that's top priority. and my constituents understand that, and they respect that, and i've never heard any of them push back against that. everyone knows dealing with violent crime is a top priority but that doesn't mean you can't deal with something because you want police to deal with violent crime. before the introduction of this legislation, like i said this is legislation, like i said this is going on'l people who the minute it started and we weighe waited two years. we tried to resolve this. it was not going to be resolved or moved forward. finally i want to address the issue of free expression.
and we are a city of free expression, and it's very important to me and i know to all of us. i don't agree that having yellow your peenis at a busy street corner as people go by. i don't agree with that comparison. free expression in the abstract is really nice until, if you call this free expression, until it comes to yourumnngvz neighbo. and i wonder what would happen if the naked guys started hanging out in the richmond or 24th and folsom or down near balboa park. response would be. and i guarantee you people would not have waited as long as we waited in the castro to do something about it. so, colleagues, i understand and respect all of your comments.
truly arguments against this legislation on the merits. and, colleagues, i ask for your support. >> supervisor campos: president chiu. >> president chiu: thank you. first of all, i want to thank all the folks in this room who have engaged in this conversation in recent months. and i do want to state that i appreciate the arguments raised by the-#( gí opponents. i had opportunity to sit down with some of the leaders to this that reasonable folks can choose to disagree on this issue. i will say that i don't see necessarily a middle ground on this issue, just given what i have heard from those conversations. and i think we have a situation here, colleagues, where we have a colleague who represents a
neighborhood and a district that has a situation, and he has attempted to move forward a more modest set of measures to address the situation, but we are where we are today. say, colleagues that many of us are probably quietly relieved that this is not a situation that we've had to deal with in our own neighborhood. now as someone who has wondered if there were ways to limit this, let me say a couple of things to that. i think the suggestion in a the exceptions in this measure somehow are not a positive part of this legislation, i think that's not necessarily a position i would support. exceptions for certain types of events, where i think we all do think that it might be appropriate for public nudity to occur. that being said, i know there are also some suggestions about whether this legislation ought to be narrowly defined